Nucleus/ROCK alternative - opinions please


I am looking purchasing a Nucleus + or similar -Inside-Tech have a product which suggests it can exceed the Nucleus +, and is also considerably less expensive. Has anybody got any experience of these products - and if so what do you think?

Below are some reviews on their own site. I’d like some more independent opinions please.

Thanks - my understanding of this product is that it is like a computer -and so isn’t preloaded with Roon. Are you saying it would infringe copyright if used instead of my computer?

Thanks -my understanding is that for those of us technically challenged - they build a computer to the specs mentioned so you can run Roon. I already have it on my Macbook -but really could do with a better base.

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It is my understanding they ship ROCK already installed.

Looks from the description like they give you a bootable USB stick that does the install. So walking a fine line.
Mini PC. All you have to do is run the included USB stick

It is a computer, nothing more. It is not special or unique.

And, tbh, if you really want a fanless case and you are technically challenged, then go with a Nucleus. The Nucleus OS is tweaked to manage thermals in a fanless case. ROCK, which is what you would use with that device, does not have that thermal management.

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Thanks - looks like they assemble it in a fanless case. I’d be really interested if anyone was using this set up -and their opinion. From reading comments so far it’s nearly infringing copyright, but not quite.


Ironic that they use ROCK pre-installed as a selling point so that they can better compete with Nucleus.

cirrus7 nuc based pc.

A post was split to a new topic: Are Nucleus orders being fulfilled and shipped?

Ultimately the situation is this: The Nucleus is fully supported by Roon. ROCK devices on specified NUCs are supported by Roon. Official partners support their hardware and OS while Roon supports their own product. But the Inside Tech device is strictly speaking a MOCK build. It isn’t guaranteed into the future and if anything breaks or could work better Roon are not obligated to fix it. I have no doubt the proprietor will support his hardware but this still leaves a black hole in support that might be tough to fill if you are not computer savvy. So beware of anything that claims to be the equal of Nucleus. Because it may well be right up until something goes wrong.

Thanks for that -the Nucleus is a rare and expensive beast in the UK, so what other options are there which are ROON supported?

Interestingly having looked at the Inside Tech products, he has actually used NUC boards. So the product should be fully supported. Where he is on shaky ground is the Nucleus comparison, the use of Roon marketing information and the distribution of ROCK with the product. But that is a commercial matter between him and Roon, it shouldn’t affect your entitlement to support once you are up and running. During installation I suspect he would need to provide that support.

A further/alternative option…

Scroll down the page for NUC information.

I rather like the look of this but no idea if it would run rock, but windows or Linux no problem if rock didn’t work…not cheap but more oomph than a nuc

You can run Roon Server on any Windows 10 computer, Mac or Linux machine and be fully supported. You don’t have to run ROCK by any means.

Alternatively you could buy a fully built up NUC that is compliant with Room’s specs and install ROCK on that (a very very easy task BTW) and be fully supported too.

If you have any technical capabilities at all and don’t mind fiddling with computers a bit you could try to install ROCK onto a non-compliant pc but if it doesn’t work you’re on your own. This is the route I took but then I’ve been building pc’s since my school days when the 486 cpu’s were very new and 8mb (not gb) was considered overkill for anyone but a true power user.

I remember when I had my Compudyne 386SX16 “upgraded” to a 486DX50. Wow, I thought that was something. I think I had 4 megs of RAM. Nobody could ever need more.

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And swapping jumpers on motherboards to overclock AMD 486DX40’s to run at 50 :slight_smile:

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